Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: <i>Texas crude and rude</i> .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Friday, March 25, 2005

Texas crude and rude

There's a lot of hubbub in the blogs lately about manners and courtesy. Living in Houston, I see a lot of courtesy - holding doors, saying thank you, etc. Chivalry is a way of life here, and even the roughest of rogues will usually be courteous if you’re courteous to him.

The place I see room for improvement is on the roads. Once they gird themselves in their airbag-protected SUVs or pickups, even the meekest of soccer moms become road warriors when they're in a hurry.

Swerving in front of someone and then turning, waiting until the last possible moment to merge, and pulling out from a side road directly in front of a rapidly approaching vehicle should all be considered anti-social behavior.

I’m a firm believer that people’s license plates should contain their cell phone number.

Or, as Gallagher suggested, we should all be armed with dart guns loaded with sticky-darts. When you see a driver demonstrating vehicular rudeness, shoot his vehicle with a dart. Then when you see a vehicle full of sticky-darts, you know to avoid that driver. And it’s cheaper and less controversial than the Safe Clear plan.

On another rudeness front, MeMo has sparked a discussion on insincere manners, or disguised rudeness, if you prefer. She linked to one such purveyor of disguised rudeness, who was courteous in his invitation, but slammed her ruthlessly on his blog. Most of his complaints were groundless, but he apparently had an axe to grind.

If she had ignored him, he probably would have remained in obscurity. But by linking to him, he saw more comments on his blog within a few days than he probably has since he started blogging. That’s right, I’m jealous, but won’t stoop to trashing people just to get readers. I’d rather continue with what I think is a good message and a few intelligent readers, than have a huge following of unthinking lemmings and meaningless tripe for content.

But I digress. The MeMo issue was whether she’s relevant or not. She portrays herself as a “cultural blog”. That in itself should tell you she’s not posting on world-shaking issues. Culture isn’t just opera, symphony and “the theeyutah”. Pop culture is included, which is the niche she fills. In the pre-blog world, Dennis Miller made a career out of commenting on pop culture, before 9/11 drove him around the bend and into the arms of the right wing propaganda machine.

And there are other cultural blogs out there, even in the media, such as Slate’s Surfergirl.

Another question raised was why the Houston Chronicle would choose a cultural blog as their maiden foray into blogdom. Again groundless, considering there’s Dwight Silverman's TechBlog and Richard Justice's sports blog in the Chronicle as well.

I guess I should get out more often. As I mentioned in my last post, I don’t get much of a chance to just surf for surfing’s sake. But when I do, what I see surprises me, because I tend to forget how petty some people can be. And how uninformed the petty ones usually are. There’s a correlation there, and people like MeMo, who have a large readership and relative editorial freedom, are the bridge between information and ignorance, whether it’s about politics or pizza crust, gun control or goldfish. So write on, MeMo! But be sure to play nice with the other kids.

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